Adventure

That time we hiked Neahkahnie…

For the past couple of years now, my dear friend Stephanie and I have taken the time to schedule a little girlfriend getaway for ourselves.  Back in our wild & free 20s, we used to take off to the Oregon Coast regularly.  We would almost always head south to Portland first… because shopping, of course.  …and we would almost always routinely lose track of the day while we were shopping leaving us in a pinch crossing 26.   Some trips involved late night drives over a snow covered pass, while others involved sleeping in the back of my SUV in grocery store parking lots and using the grocery store bathroom to wash our faces and brush our teeth in our PJs… [Hi, mom 👋🏼]  Oh dear- those were the days…

But here we are now a decade deep into married life, raising kids, careers that were once the same but now pull us in different directions, etc… and somehow, somewhere we lost that wild & free magic amongst it all.  Now don’t get me wrong, we LOVE this life we have created, but there is something to be said about giving yourself time to just be you.  When was the last time you were able to do that?  If you are a busy mom, and anything like me, it has probably been awhile… If it hasn’t, then good for you!  You see, there is no need to completely lose yourself, your girlfriend time, or your freedom while serving your family.  You can do both!  …and it is not selfish.  Did you hear that?  It is NOT selfish to take time away from those you love the most.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in it all, but it is SO necessary to pull yourself out of it every now and then.  Not only can it rejuvenate you, but it can completely change your perspective and help you see things that you just can’t when you are knee deep in school drop-offs, soccer practices, grocery store trips and just the day-to-day happenings of life. It refreshes and refuels the soul, and doing that makes you better able to serve those you love.

So finally, FINALLY we decided to start making time for us.  …and of course we return to our old stomping grounds each year to do it.  We no longer do the Portland detour, because… old ladies, who just want to get to where they are going, and kids who leave us penny-less, but we are okay with that.  We now go for a mix of relaxation and adventure, things that we don’t always make time for at home (this even includes just sitting in the hotel room watching TV that isn’t animated).  We schedule it at the beginning of the year for May, right around our birthdays (we were born just 2 days apart), and this is our gift to ourselves, and to each other.

Cannon Beach, OR

So this year we headed down towards Cannon Beach, and the weather was supposed to be on point for the weekend ahead.  We did not do as much hiking/exploring the previous year, because the weather was not on our side, so all of the things on our list from the previous year quickly piled onto our list this go around.  One of those items was adventuring in Oswald West State Park.  This Park lies between Cannon Beach and Manzanita and has trails for days.  We woke up one of the mornings and headed on our way… We were going to start our Oswald journey with the Neahkahnie hike. 

Neahkahnie south trail map -image courtesy of Oregonhiking.com

 

You can get to the summit ridge through two different trails, we chose the shorter, yet steeper trail on the south side.  This trail is approx. 3 miles with an elevation gain of 840 ft.  The summit sits at 1,631 feet above sea level, yet right next to the sea.  The first part of the trail is mostly switchbacks.  The path is fairly wide and clear, but muddy in places.  The second part of the trail meanders through tree covered forests. Some parts of the trail are narrow, but plenty safe.

Trailhead
Wide, clear paths
…and constant switchbacks. Nothing too steep, but a climb none the less.
Moss in the breeze…
…and Steph peeking around trees.
One of the more narrow portions on the upper section of the trail. Thank goodness for rebar…
 

Eventually you meet up with the North trail and it is here where you climb a small hill to reach the Neahkahnie summit.  The Tillamook Indians thought it was a viewpoint fit for gods, and named it with the words Ne “place of” and Ekahni “supreme deity”. I could not agree more.  Arriving here, to this view was well worth it all.  You could literally see for miles, yet sea level was just below you.

That view though…
You literally feel like you are sitting on top of the world.

Just 1,600 ft above the earth below…

After sitting up there for what felt like a combination of forever, and not nearly enough time… we made the hike back down.  We followed our hike up with a quick drive into Manzanita to reward our efforts with tacos and refreshments at Left Coast Siesta- never disappoints.  If you’re a taco lover (are there non-taco lovers?? do they exist?) then this will be your jam. We followed our taco lunch with some shopping in some of the cute little shops, because obviously…

After hitting up a couple shops we headed back north on the Oregon Coast Hwy.  After a couple short miles we stopped in one of the parking lots along the way in Oswald West with trails that lead down to Short Sand Beach.  The trail we followed was a much shorter, less than 1/2 mile hike, that crossed a bridge and lead us down to a large tucked away beach cove.



We explored the beach a little, watched the local surfers, headed over to the waterfall on the north side of the cove, and laid out on a blanket in the sand and soaked up what little was left of the late day sun.



A little beach art I happened upon… “You r loved”.
 

I wish we had had more time to spend here… next time, for sure.  …and more time to explore some of the other awesome trails and view points the park has to offer.

Oswald West State Park located at Cape Falcon- you can custom request an Oswald West map (or any other favorite Oregon map dot) in the shop by clicking the “Shop Wild in WAnderland” link in the menu above.

So who’s up for a little girl-venture???

 💛 Jami

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